Gaza rocket salvos target Beersheba, Ashdod

Terrorists in the Strip target cities in South; 24 rockets fired on 4th day of hostilities, Iron Dome intercepts 7.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 12, 2012 13:45
2 minute read.
Iron Dome fires interceptor rocket south of Ashdod

Iron Dome 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip continued to target southern Israel on Monday morning with rocket salvos directed at two major cities, Beersheba and Ashdod.

A total of 24 rockets were fired at southern Israel on Monday, at least seven of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket defense system.

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In a video posted to Twitter by IDF Spokeswoman Avital Leibovich, Islamic Jihad terrorists can be seen firing a rocket toward Israel.

No injuries were reported in any of the attacks, although one of seven rockets fired at the Eshkol Regional Council area overnight fell near a kindergarten, causing damage to a building.

Five rockets fired toward Ashdod were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket defense system later on Monday. An additional rocket exploded in southern Gan Yavne, east of Ashdod, police said.

Rocket ranges from Gaza

Almost simultaneously to the offensive on Ashdod, two rockets landed in an open area outside of Beersheba on Monday morning and a third rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome.

The Home Front Command, along with the heads of a number of local authorities in southern Israel, decided Sunday night to cancel school in all towns and cities located between 7 km to 40 km from the Gaza Strip for the second straight day. The decision applied to the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Gadera, Rahat, Yavneh, Lakiyeh, and the Gan Yavneh Regional Council.

The IDF continued to respond to the attacks with at eight airstrikes launched against terror targets in Gaza overnight Sunday and on Monday morning.

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Palestinians reported that a 15 year old was killed and five other schoolchildren were injured in an IAF air strike in the northwestern Gaza Strip Monday morning.

Israel Radio reported that the IAF also struck a target in the southern Strip near Rafah.

Earlier, Palestinian Islamic Jihad said that two armed terrorists belonging to the organization were killed in earlier IAF strikes, bringing the total number of Palestinians killed since hostilities began Friday to 20. More than 170 rockets have been fire toward southern Israel from Gaza in the same period.

The IAF strikes carried out early Monday morning targeted a weapons-storage site and four rocket-launch sites in the northern Gaza Strip and one rocket-launch site in the southern Gaza strip. The IDF confirmed hits on its targets, and stated that the attack was a response to rocket fire.

Islamic Jihad said that one man was hit while launching a rocket at Israel from a location in southern Gaza. Another was killed and three others wounded when their motorized rickshaw was hit, the group said.

Gaza hospital sources said 25 civilians were hurt when an Israeli rocket hit a house in northern Gaza.

The latest round of violence flared on Friday when an air strike killed two Palestinian terror leaders in Gaza accused by Israel of planning a cross-border attack via Egypt. A salvo of rockets followed, leaving six people wounded in Israel.

Over 40 of some 170 militant rockets estimated to have been fired since Friday were intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome rocket defense system.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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